The Government has changed the way NHS dentistry is provided. It has also introduced a new “Band system” of charges that patients will have to pay for their treatment.
At this practice, we have decided to continue to provide NHS care under the new terms, however there will be some changes to the way we work.
If you are already a patient of this practice and want to book an appointment, we will try to offer you one as soon as possible at a convenient time within the hours we have set aside for NHS patients. The NHS now asks us to provide a fixed, limited amount of NHS care each year and so we have to allocate our time and our NHS budget accordingly. This also means that we are unable to keep treatment plans open indefinitely and will have to close all treatment plans within two months. New patients wanting to join the practice under the NHS scheme can put their names down on our waitlist by completing our registration form.
You can ask to see a particular dentist but it may not always be possible to arrange this because that dentist may not have any NHS time available.
We will now follow guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on how often patients need to see their dentist. It is no longer the norm for NHS patients to have two NHS check-ups each year if you do not need them. The Department of Health wants NHS resources to be allocated to those who need it most. You can, of course, visit your dentist more often outside the NHS arrangements if you want to talk to your dentist more regularly about your oral health needs, have a regular hygienist visit, and be reassured that all is well.
Patient Acceptance for NHS Treatment
This practice offers NHS treatment to the following groups of patients:
- Patients who pay fees for NHS treatment.
- Patients who are partially or fully exempt from paying fees for NHS treatment. These include:
- Children under 18 years of age.
- Young people under the of 19 still in full time education.
- Women who are pregnant or have a child under 12 months of age.
- If you are an NHS inpatient and the treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist.
- If you are an NHS hospital dental service outpatient (however, you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges).
- If you are receiving income-based Job Seekers Allowance.
- If you are receiving Income Support.
- If you are receiving Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
- If you are receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
- If you are named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or you are entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
- If you are named on a valid HC2 certificate.
- If named on a valid HC3 certificate, you may be eligible for partial help with dental costs.
Claiming Free Treatment
If you are exempt from paying some or all of the fees you are required to sign a form and show written proof of your entitlement to claim exemption from some or all of treatment charges. If you tell the dentist you are exempt, but are not entitled to free treatment then you may incur a penalty charge as checks are made on all claims for free treatment. Click here for further details.
You will be advised which dentist you will be seeing when you book your first appointment. For subsequent appointments, you will be offered the first available dentist. If you request a particular dentist, we will try to accommodate you but cannot guarantee that you will get the same dentist.
Note: You will not be exempt from paying because you receive:-
- Incapacity Benefit.
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance.
- Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
- Disability Living Allowance.
- Council Tax Benefit.
- Housing Benefit.
- Pension Credit savings credit, when paid on their own.
- Medical conditions do not exempt you from payment for dental treatment.
Cancellation of an appointment
Patients are requested to give at least 24 hours' notice to cancel or change a dental appointment. Cancellations should be made by telephone on the following telephone number - 01707 37 5000. If you call us outside of our opening hours, you will be able to leave a message on our answering machine. Please note if more than two NHS dental appointments are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, we may not be able to offer you NHS treatment in the future.